Healthcare IT Blog

Notes from the HIMSS14 Exhibit Hall Floor

Published on 03/03/2014 by Ken Brasch
Category: Healthcare IT

After attending the HIMSS conference in Orlando last week, I would say 2014 is the year of analytics.  Booths all across the HIMSS exposition floor advertised solutions focused on outcomes and quality.  For the longest time, we have heard the Ford commercials with the slogan “Quality is Job 1”.  In the drive to report on clinical quality measures to meet Meaningful Use objectives, healthcare is now faced with the challenge of how to harvest the massive volumes of data they have collected over time to report on quality initiatives and improve patient safety.

I did not have to walk far across the exposition floor to see all types of analytics solutions.  From MEDITECH’s new Clinical and Business Analytics solution to analytics specific vendors, there were plenty of demos gathering a lot of attention and creating a lot of discussion between attendees about how they were planning to address this need for their organization.  There were even vendors such as HP and Stanley offering advice on analytics – and here I thought Stanley was just a tool maker!

There are a lot of different analytics solutions and not all of them will meet the needs of every organization.  There needs to be some careful analysis to avoid going down the wrong path.  Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Take a look at what the MEDITECH community is doing with the adoption of analytics solutions.
  2. Have a realistic and measureable plan to evaluate your organization's readiness to adopt and implement an analytics tool.
  3. Develop strong evaluation criteria to select the analytics tool that is best for you.

A natural extension of implementing an analytics solution is choosing how you will visualize your data.  HIMSS 2014 had a number of booths demonstrating dashboards that can pull data from multiple sources and provide a visual representation of your core measurements.  We are used to going to sporting events and watching the scoreboard to track the progress of the game.  Now we can watch the dashboard to track the progress of the quality initiatives in a local hospital.

Analytics can seem to be a scary new world for some hospitals.  As we look behind the curtain, we will not see the Wizard of Oz.  Instead we can see the progress of a hospital that is committed to improving patient safety and outcomes through the study and interpretation of quality specific data.  For some, this will be a new way to practice medicine.  For others this will be the dawning of the age of enlightenment.

Ken Brasch Ken Brasch is a Regional Sales Director at Park Place International. With 30+ years of IT experience, Ken has been working with MEDITECH hospitals for over 7 years.  He helped to design and deliver the first MEDITECH cloud.  Ken works with the PPI team to bring solutions to market that meet evolving customer needs and help MEDITECH hospitals achieve the goal of operational sustainability.